Kavkasia (meaning "Caucasus") consists of three North Americans who together have more than eighty-five years of experience singing the traditional music of the Republic of Georgia. In 1994 they formed a professional vocal trio dedicated to studying and performing that music. In the decades since then, they have performed everywhere from Lincoln Center to the Tbilisi Opera House.
They sing concerts and lead workshops in North America, and have made numerous extended visits to Georgia to study with singers there, both in professional ensembles and in remote villages.
In 1997 each member was made a State Prize Laureate and was awarded the Silver Medal of the Georgian Ministry of Culture "for profound knowledge of the folk music of Georgia and his role in its popularization around the world."
From their Facebook page:
"Trio Kavkasia was formed in 1994 in the cold of Toronto's January. It snowed every day of our first gathering, which proved to be just what we needed. We sang, sang, sang—and discovered that we liked singing together. Over the years, we've immersed ourselves in Georgian folk singing & culture, traveling to Georgia & living there as a trio for two long stays. Carl ended up staying in Georgia for a longer period, totaling about 10 years before he returned to the US in 2006. Kavkasia has recorded 3 CDs, and continues to explore the mysteries of Georgian tuning. We perform whenever we can—but living in three different places makes it difficult.
”Our official debut performance was at Lincoln Center's Walter Reed Theater for the premiere of Evan Ziporyn's "Tsmindao Ghmerto" arrangement for solo bass clarinet, as part of the Bang On a Can series. We sang the Georgian hymn, and he played his arrangement. Over the years, Kavkasia has sung in many places, including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington DC, and Tbilisi, but we still consider Toronto to be our home turf. It's where we were born, and probably where we have our largest fan base."